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This is a form of oral surgery that involves treatment of the tip of a root in a tooth. It is usually a last resort attempt to keep and retain a tooth.
The tooth usually has already had some attempts at Root Canal treatment previously. But for various reasons, the treatment has not been successful and continual infection has persisted.
Indications for Apicectomy
- The common indication for Apicectomy is when conventional re-root canal treatment has failed and another attempt is contra-indicated.
- It is impossible or very difficult to treat the bottom third of a root with traditional Root Canal Treatment therapy due to the complex nature of the root anatomy.
- There has been a broken instrument in the canal of a tooth from previous attempts preventing proper Root Canal Treatment.
- The root has been damaged during other surgical work.
- The tip of the root has been perforated (opened up and filling material pushed out of it) during past Root Canal Treatments.
- There is a persistent infection at the tip of the root that is now spreading into the surrounding bone. This infection can only be removed by surgery.
- There may be a cyst developed at the tip of the root.
How is this problem assessed?
We are able to assess for this problem during routine and comprehensive examination process.
Often you may need to be referred for an Endodontic (Root Canal) Consultation.
The dentist will then take radiographs (x-rays) and evaluate based upon your signs and symptoms as to what treatment possibilities may exist in order to save the tooth and remove any infection.
What does the treatment involve?
This treatment is best carried out using local anaesthesia. We perform micro-surgical endodontic treatments using the latest grade of a microscope. Nervous patient? We can help.
This gives us a greater depth of detail and allows us to do precision work.
The dentist will simply lift the gum and make a boney window in the bone which sits directly above the tip of the root. This allows the dentist to access the root tip and take a closer look at the situation.
The dentist can then treat the root. Your dentist is also able to remove any infection or cyst present.
When the tip of the root is then “filled” with a filling material that is biocompatible. And the gum replaced over. You may require some stitches (sutures).
What should I expect after surgery?
This area will feel slightly sore and you may need to take some painkillers. You may even get some post-operative swelling and redness.
If your symptoms continue you may even be prescribed a course of antibiotics.
The tooth will then be closely monitored and re-evaluated during follow-up appointments. If the treatment has not been successful then extraction may be your only option.
However, we will try very hard to make sure that we are able to save the tooth by giving it the best chance possible.
If you’re interested or have any further questions about apicectomy, call our dental practice on 01992 552115 and we will be happy to help.